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Family remembers 72-year-old Canadian cyclist killed in Florida hit-and-run

The driver who killed Tom Simon was never identified

On December 4, 2020, 72-year-old Tom Simon was stuck from behind while riding his bike just outside of Fort Myers, Florida.

He died early the next morning in a local hospital.

Simon, who was visiting Florida from Waterdown, On., was killed by a driver who fled the scene immediately. Despite offering a cash reward for any information locals could provide about the hit-and-run, his family has not received any answers.

Tom Simon. Photo: Strava

Organizing the community

Simon had been an avid cyclist for years, and didn’t show any signs of slowing down before his death. Riding often with his wife, Shirley Dodman, he had cycled almost 21,000 kilometres in 2020. From November 23 to 29 alone he rode 848 km.

Simon’s sister, Theresa Simon Litster, says he was an inspiration, role model and hero. “My brother Tom encouraged me to stay fit,” she said. “I think it worked. This cycling season I rode 14,000 Km, and he took me to purchase my first road bike.”

Simon during a weekend trip with the Halton Cross Country Ski Club in the 1980s. Photo: Facebook/Harold Heipel

Simon Litster says her brother spread the sport to many through organizing a club in his hometown of Hamilton, On.

“He used a titanium bike, reflective bright clothes and flashing USB lights,” she said. Despite doing everything cyclists are told to do to to increase road visibility, he was still hit by a reckless driver. Simon Litster hopes to organize a memorial ride to raise awareness for cycling safety.

Simon’s family will hold an outdoor celebration of his life at 1076 Mud Street East in Hamilton, On. on Aug. 18, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.